Earlier this year, it was announced by the NCAA that Indiana would be the home for the entire 2021 men’s basketball championship, known by most as March Madness.  The majority of the 67 games will take place in Indianapolis, and March Madness is just around the corner.  While everything will get going on March 14 with the selection process, the Sweet 16 will be held on Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28.  The Elite Eight games will be played on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30, and the Final Four will be on Saturday, April 3.  The NCCA Championship game will close out the season on Monday, April 5.  Leading up to that, the latest power rankings show what basketball fans and gamblers can expect.

Gonzaga Continue To Rule The NCAA

The Gonzaga Bulldogs remain in first place in the power rankings with an incredible record of 20-0. They have now picked up their fifth straight road game, making it the first No. 1-ranked team to get five consecutive road games since the 1972-73 season. UCLA was the last team that managed to do that, but not even they played five straight road games against conference opponents. The Zags are now facing Saint Mary’s on Thursday and San Diego on Saturday.

The Baylor Bears remain in second, with a record 17-0.  There is nothing to add for this week since the last time the Bears played was back on February 2, and the lack of play has clearly affected them when it comes to points.  However, Baylor is still 5.54 points ahead of the third position.

Ohio State Eyes Playoffs

The Ohio State Buckeyes occupy that third position with a record of 17-4.  They’ve done great so far, as they’re 9-1 in their past ten games and haven’t dropped below 1.06 points per possession in any game. They’re now scheduled to play at Penn State the following two games, one on Thursday and the other on Sunday.

The Michigan Wolverines are still in fourth place this week in the power rankings with a record of 14-1. The Wolverines are now back after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday night.  Michigan has demonstrated that it’s the number-3 team in the metrics; however, Ohio has done enough to earn that position so far. Sunday’s game will be interesting, since it decides who will get third place next week.

A nice improvement has been seen from the USC Trojans, who went from seventh last week to fifth position this week, with a record 17-3. The Trojans are now earning more respect in these power rankings. USC has gone 12-1 in its last 13, so it’s clear they’re on a mission.

Houston Climbs The Ranks

The Houston Cougars also moved up, taking sixth place with a record of 17-2. Quentin Grime needs to receive much of the credit, as he has really shown an improvement after he decided to leave Kansas two years ago.  His current stat line reads 16.9 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 2.1 assists per game and 1.2 steals per game, along with an improved defensive presence. Grimes’ season-high was achieved against USF when he scored a total of 29 points.

Last week, the Alabama Razorbacks were number 12 and, thanks to a 17-5 record, have now reached seventh in the rankings.  Kudos to Herb Jones for scoring a career-high 21 points against Georgia on Saturday.  It’s been a long journey for him to reach this, specifically 18 games to drop at least 20 points. Alabama’s game at Texas A&M has been pushed one day out due to the horrendous winter conditions in Texas, so next week’s standings might not change too much.

The Florida State Seminoles are now in eighth place, up from last week’s 11, and there’s no team in the NCAA that deserves props more than they do.  They managed to score over 69 points against Virginia last Monday, which it hadn’t pulled off since 2009.  The Noles are now 12-3 and are looking to continue moving up.